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Monday, July 22, 2024

Soludo Bags Award on Good Performance in WASH


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo has bagged the prestigious Award on Good Performance in WASH, in recognition of his administration’s active performance in promotion of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the state, the southeastern region and the nation as a whole.

Governor Soludo bagged the award at the 2nd Southeast Regional Water Conference, organized by the National Water Resources Capacity Building Network Southeast Centre, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Themed “Towards Effective WASH Governance in Nigeria”, the event which kicked off on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, had in attendance, key stakeholders from different states of the southeastern region and beyond, governmental officials, non-governmental organizations, academia, community leaders, captains of industries, and heads of security agencies, who converged to discuss pressing issues relating to water resource supply and management.

Speaking at the event, Governor Soludo, who was represented by the Anambra State’s Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engr. Julius Chukwuemeka, described water as life, and further hinted that water resources governance is the globally recognized approach for addressing the gaps currently affecting water resources supply and management, especially in the urban centres.

According to him, the current administration in the state identified restoration of urban water supply and improved general easy access to potable water as a critical agenda, as is contained in page 53 of Governor Soludo’s campaign manifesto.

The Commissioner, who was joined by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Uzoka, further highlighted some of the giant strides so far made and achievements so far recorded by the State government in pursuance to the target and towards addressing issues relating to WASH in Anambra State.

These, he said, include state-wide interventions for rehabilitation/reactivation of 5No Urban Water Supply Schemes, 15No Small Town/Semi-urban Water Supply and Schemes; the ongoing hydrogeological/hydrological survey/mapping of Anambra State for water supply source potentials; reactivation and expansion of lylagu Senior Staff Quarters Water Supply Project using alternative/clean energy source (which currently delivers 24/7 pipe-borne water supply to all the residential apartments at the Quarters).

Others, he said, include the ongoing resuscitation of the defunct Anambra State Water Corporation; the ongoing pilot phase of the novel PPCP model at Neni community, aimed at achieving door-to-door water supply to every household in Anambra; ongoing provision of Solar-powered water supply to Ibughubu-Umuchu community in Aguata L.G.A.; completion of state-wide WASH Inventory survey/mapping; as well as achieving Open Defecation Free status in three local government areas of the State so far; among other giant strides.

While assuring that the Governor Soludo-led Anambra state government will continue to do its beat to promote WASH in the State, Commissioner Chukwuemeka appreciated the organizers of the conference, while also expressing optimism that entrenchment of effective WASH governance would help in no small measure in achieving improved access to WASH facilities, as well as in attainment of the SDGs 6a and 6b.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Coordinator, Water Resources Capacity Building Network South-East Centre, Dr. Emma Ezenwaji, explained that the Centre was established in 2006 by the Federal Government to offer training, retraining and other capacity building efforts towards closing the poor capacity gap of most operators in the water resources sector to perform optimally; even as he further highlighted the various feats so far achieved by the Centre and their.

He appreciated the members and the stakeholders who have contributed in supporting the affairs of the Centre over the years, while also calling on the Federal Government and southeast governors to have adequate and improved budgetary allocations for the water sector in their respective states, as over 70% of diseases suffered in Nigeria today can be linked to lack of potable water and poor sanitation.

In their separate remarks, the Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Emmanuel Adanu, who is also the DG of the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna; and the Chief Host of the Occasion, Prof. Charles Esimone, who also is the Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, reeled out some of the efforts and achievements recorded so far by their respective institutions in promoting WASH, even as they underscored the significance of more effective collaboration towards championing of the initiative.

On his own part, the MD/CEO, Anambra State Urban Water Asset Holdings Corporation, Hon. Ikeobi Ejiofor identified lack of sustainable management of assets as one of the greatest challenges facing the water resources sector in the southeast; while calling for development of more efficient policies that will encourage capacity building of water asset management companies, easy access to finance new local technologies and innovations, strong partnership, as well as effective laws to protect water resources asset development.

The event also featured presentation of awards to relevant stakeholders, presentation of certificates to graduands of some short courses on water resources related fields, as well as inspection of exhibitions at the conference venue.

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